Knowing the Flowers: A Floristic Analysis of the Diversity and Distribution of Flowering Plants on the Sunshine Coast, BC
Keywords:Floristic Report, Species Richness, Plant Diversity
Flowering plants are a dominant biological force on this planet; they include an almost unimaginable number of species. British Columbia (BC) is no exception to this, housing a high number of angiosperm species. To help develop a clearer view of this diversity, this study focused on a small region of BC, the Sunshine Coast. I document the floral diversity of the area, and test whether a uniform level of species richness is supported across the area. The region lies across the boundary of two Biogeoclimatic (BEC) zones, the Coastal Western Hemlock (CWH) and Coastal Douglas-fir (CDF) zones, potentially giving it a combination of characteristics from both zones. I did floristic surveys in multiple sites in the CDF (n = 4) and the CWH (n=5) zones, and asked if there was any difference in species richness between the two. Variability in richness between wetland and non-wetland habitats was also examined. Two-sample t-tests failed to find a difference in species richness between BEC zones or habitat types. I identified a total of 129 species of angiosperms from 44 floral families. The angiosperm Species/Genus ratio for the area was 1.29 and both the Species/Genus and Genus/Family distributions displayed hollow curves. These results indicate that angiosperms have a relatively consistent species richness throughout the study area and show that the group follows a stereotypical hollow curve distribution pattern.